Psychology Unit 1- ATTACHMENTS- The Formation of Attachments in human babies

  • Created by: Emily
  • Created on: 26-03-14 13:46

Psychology Unit 1- ATTACHMENTS- The Formation of A

Attachment: an emotional tie or bond between two people shown in their behaviour.

Attachment behaviours : Maccoby (1980)

  • Seeking Proximity: Near to each other, spending time together (babies cry if caregiver too far away)
  • Distress on Seperation: Distress when caregiver leaves. Feeling homesick when older.
  • Joy on Reunion: Welcoming back attatchment figure, clinging & hugging even after short periods of seperation.
  • General Orientation of behaviour towards the other person: Baby and caregiver direct their attention to each other, engage in activities and interact with each other.

Lorenz- 1935

  • Divided geese eggs- one group stayed with mother, one group incubated - first moving object was him after hatching - IMPRINTING - Goslings became attached to him.
  • Both groups then put back in a container and released - geese seeked their own 'mother'- whether the mother goose or Lorenz. 
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Klaus & Kennell- SKIN TO SKIN (KKSS) 

  • Hypothesis- early skin to skin contact leads to closer bonds between new mothers & babies
  • Studied women in hospital- usually babies immediately taken away after delivery (NORTH AMERICA 1976)
  • Followed 2 groups of mothers from birth to when the child was 1 year old
  • CONTROL CONDITION- routine contact- saw baby for short time after delivery and for feeds only
  • EXPERIMENTAL CONDITION- Extended contact- 1 hr extra of skin to skin contact after birth- 5hrs extra over the next 3 days
  • K & K visited mothers and babies after a month then after a year.
  • Findings: EXPERIMENTAL- more soothing behaviours- cuddling etc. closer proximities, gazed at babies more.
  • Conclusion: Sensitive period & it would be beneficial for fathers to be present at birth- opportunity to form early bonds.
  • EVALUATION: Low population validity- young, unmarried mothers from disadvantaged inner city area. Extra attention given in exp-not actual evidence of close bond. De Chateau et al- replicated- same results.
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Shaffer & Emerson (Glasgow babies)- 1964

  • Data on seperation anxiety & stranger distress
  • Observations and interviews in own homes
  • Approached baby- looked for signs of distress
  • Asked mother about babies responses e.g. when left with babysitter- Four Point Scale- 0 (no protest)- 3 (cries loudly each time)
  • Attachment behaviours linked with age
  • Seperation anxiety 6-8 months- attachment formed - fear of strangers one month after.
  • After one attachment formed- other family member bonds
  • 65%- first attachment- Mother, 3%- father, 27%- mother and father   (NOT ALWAYS PRIMARY CAREGIVER)
  • 40% attachments not with main caregiver
  • EVALUATION - Different methods- interviews & observations- rich in detail - TRIANGULATION. Own homes- high ecological validity, 1960's- doesn't reflect life today where men also give lots of care, relatively unstressful for babies- own home- minimal psychological harm.
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